Experiencing Homophobia Overseas

Living in the United States can and will make you pretty spoiled.    You become accustomed to life as you know it, and take everyday occurrences completely for granted.    Many of us here in Miami are reminded of our abundance as a nation when we share the experience of someone that recently immigrated from Cuba, and see their reactions to to a well stocked produce section at the local grocery store.     It’s an all out emotional meltdown at times, something neither person is prepared for.    While economic prosperity is something that’s relatively easy to appreciate and witness, individual freedoms are not.    Most people vacation in areas of the world where they are welcomed with open arms, but even in the most beautiful and serene locations, the gay tourist has to be mindful of their destination in a different capacity… their personal safety.  There are many parts of the world where being homosexual is against the law, and I’m not referring to some distant land on the other side of the planet, I’m talking about enjoying the beauty and splendor of the Caribbean.   It was there that my partner Eric and I became very appreciative of the security and liberties we now enjoy in the United States.

Cruising is my idea of the perfect vacation.   Every detail is taken care of, and for seven days or more (as is usually our case), your only responsibility is to use the restroom and clothe yourself.   For me it’s the ultimate form of relaxation, and for someone that grew up around the sea, nothing could be more appropriate.   In the past 17 years I’ve experienced just as many cruises, most of which took place in the beautiful waters of the Caribbean.    Many of these cruises were chartered with Atlantis Events, which specializes in providing vacations to the gay community.    While Atlantis did a good job in general of keeping us safe, there was once an exception where we experienced mobs of people holding signs and screaming at us while buses took us to our scheduled excursions.    The ship was the first all gay vessel to ever dock at Grand Cayman and we were met with much anger and hate.    Still,  we were all together, thousands of us, and there was quite literally safety in numbers.

Our home for the next eight days, RCCL’s Freedom of the Seas!

Atlantis was a fun alternative to regular cruises when I took my first NCL trip back in 2001.   It was a great way to feel comfortable on vacation since so many gays and lesbians were still closeted back then.    I still remember our cruise director Malcom telling us during the sail-away-party, that for the next week we could hold our partner’s hand anywhere on-board and we didn’t have to worry about it.   Well times have changed and now you can actually get married to the man of your dreams, and invite your family and co-workers to the wedding (you know we do the best weddings….. wedding planners are all gay to begin with.)   The appeal of an all gay cruise is arguably no longer the sense of freedom and solidarity, it’s the party itself…and the men.    If you’re in a mutual exclusive relationship (monogamous,) and you’ve outgrown the circuit scene, then an all gay cruise can seem as alienating and foreign as a Southern Baptist Convention in Alabama during the middle of summer.    With this in mind, Eric and I have always felt extremely comfortable on all our “straight cruises,” with passengers and crew eager to engage us in conversation and merriment.  This last voyage, on board Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, was in fact particularly social, with almost a sense of family on-board.  However,  during a stop in St. Kitts, we were the only gay couple on a day long trip on-board a catamaran, and it was made very obvious to us that we probably shouldn’t have been there.

The beautiful cliffs of St. Kitts. Paradise was about to get creepy.

Our experience on St. Kitts started out much as any wonderful day, the morning sun was shining bright and the view from our balcony made it clear we were no longer at sea and had docked at our first stop.    We grabbed a quick bite to eat and made our way to the gangway to meet the other passengers that had booked an excursion on the island.    After a brief wait, we walked together to another dock and boarded a bright yellow colored vessel with its sails down and awaiting adventure.   Interestingly enough, our experience on-board didn’t start to go south until we were well under way, as we sailed past lush beautiful landscapes, contrasted with impressive cliffs.   It was then, as all the men began removing their shirts, that a crew member asked how often we both went to the gym.   Seemingly a harmless remark at first, even a compliment,  the questions and comments ended up becoming more angry and intrusive as the day progressed.    After a couple of chuckles I noticed one of the other crew members staring at me with a somewhat angry expression, however I tried to brush it off as my imagination.    Still, he stared in my direction for some time and then the hairs on my arms began to stand, almost as if some dormant predatory instinct was waking up.    Although an extremely unpleasant sensation, I decided I wouldn’t verbalize it to Eric because I wanted him to enjoy our excursion.   If it was my imagination, I didn’t want to risk impacting his perception of this beautiful scenery.   Just moments later Eric nudged me and I turned to look at him.  He whispered in my ear “I don’t think they like us.”  

When we arrived at our snorkel location it was time to put on our gear on and jump off the back of the boat.    We could also walk down a staircase / ladder that was extended down the middle of the craft to the ocean, put our fins on when we reached the bottom, and then basically wade into the water.   I opted for the back of the boat since you didn’t have to wait for everyone to gather their equipment and there was much less people.    As I was sitting on the back side of the catamaran, I put on my fins expecting to just turn sideways and jump off.   Suddenly the crew member that was staring at me earlier was in my face and began shouting “Have you ever seen a duck climb a tree?”  Not expecting any sort of confrontation while on vacation, I was completely caught off guard and thought he was joking.    And then he continued  “Have you ever seen a duck climb a tree?   Then how do you think you’re going to be able to get off the back?”   

Looking off the back of the boat I saw there was a small set of three steps, nothing I couldn’t handle with fins on, but apparently he didn’t like that I was going to try.    He hadn’t spoken, or yelled for that matter, to anyone else but I apparently got the brunt of his frustration.    Another passenger next to me whispered something along the lines of “how do I get these things on?”    I cautiously replied “I’m not sure, I’m just listening to what he says because I don’t want to get yelled at again.”   With that I jumped off the back of the boat and Eric followed, as we began our snorkel “adventure” portion of the excursion.   The recent events haunted my mind in the silence of the water and I was angered that I would be treated in such a fashion while paying good money for the experience.     The snorkeling wasn’t great either, and I found myself missing the coral reefs and hard bottom communities I’ve seen on previous trips or even in the Florida Keys back home.

After snorkeling was done, the crew began preparing a light lunch for the passengers to enjoy.   Once again I was scolded for going on the wrong side of the boat, since the line started in the opposite direction.    This pretty much validated for me that I was being singled out, and I could apparently do nothing right on-board this vessel.  When lunch was finished we sailed away toward the beach portion of our day and I began thinking about everything that had happened and wondered if it would get worse.    It did.    While we were sailing, the angry stares continued, this time with two crew members standing side by side.    It became extremely awkward when another crew member walked by us and we looked up and caught him pointing down at us as if saying “these two?”  The weather seemed to acknowledge the current situation, as clouds rolled in and the sky became dark and grey as we approached the beach.

When you think of Caribbean beaches you normally think of crystal clear blue and emerald green waters, a tropical drink in your hand, and perhaps an umbrella overhead.   Unfortunately, the landscape had transformed to completely match the eeriness of the atmosphere.  We were on a beach with rusted and broken lounge chairs, which could be rented for two dollars.    For the same price you could get an umbrella, some of which were notably stolen from hot dog stands, or were only half present, steel rods protruding where there was once material.   The water was still and murky, and reflected the gloomy sky above.    Eric and I were starting to feel very concerned for our safety, and even took turns guarding our belongings on the beach, while the other walked into the shallow water.    We were also concerned the boat would conveniently leave without us, having no real specified time to be back on-board.

If things couldn’t get any more creepy, Eric and I began to feel the familiar feeling of being stared at and turned around.    Just about 50 feet away, a group of beach vendors had joined several of our catamaran crew members, in staring directly at the both of us as if we were exhibits at a zoo.     One of the crew members, the original stare guy, presumably realizing at how odd this looked, told me to come over to him because he needed to talk to me.  Eric looked at me and said “oh my God” as I walked over and replied “what can I do for you guy?”    I was scared shitless but put on my best deep masculine voice I could muster.     The crew member responded “You need a drink in your hand, I don’t like seeing people without a drink…. here have two.”    I nervously accepted the drink after observing that it came from the same cooler that all the other passengers were getting drinks from as well.    When I walked back to Eric with his beverage, one person in the stare-down group, an older man, decided to approach us with a scowl and questioned “Are you two brothers?”    Completely nervous, anxious and surprised with the query, we both stuttered and said “Yes, of course, we’re brothers.”     As the man walked away I attempted to start up conversation in an attempt to invalidate my fears, I asked how long he had been working with the boat, but he mumbled his answer and returned to his group of onlookers.   He didn’t want to have anything to do with us, not being too convinced with our answers.

The rest of the afternoon was shit.    As we sailed back to the dock, we couldn’t wait to get safely back on-board our ship.    The experience had become completely surreal…we were surrounded by extremely happy straight people that were dancing, laughing and drinking obnoxiously while we were completely terrified.  I found myself playing scenarios in my head, trying to figure out what I would do if they tried anything, fear based “what if’s” running through my mind.   Things like what if they made up a story about Eric and I, and when we docked would there be police waiting?   Even as we approached land, we dared not show our unease. We found ourselves making sure to leave a tip as they passed the jug around, not wanting to let them know how we truly felt.    We just wanted the excursion to be over.

Back safely in our stateroom, St. Kitts in the distance…. just where we like it.

Strangely enough, you wouldn’t think that after this sort of experience occurs, you would be wondering what to do next?    Do we tell someone?   Who do we tell?    Would anyone on the ship even care?    We kept talking about the experience, a sign that it was truly bothering us, and opened up at the first opportunity that presented itself.    While booking our next cruise on-board, we were asked if we’d like to do St. Kitts again by the Royal Caribbean booking agent and we both said in unison “no way!”    The reaction was met with curiosity and then bewilderment, as we explained what had happened the day before.    We were told that we needed to inform the shore excursions desk immediately, so they’re made fully aware of what transpired so it never happens again.    After we wrapped up our booking, we approached the desk as instructed, however we didn’t feel our ordeal would get the attention it deserved.    We decided to bring the matter up to our concierge instead and see what she would say.

It’s always a great feeling when you’re a bit beaten up by the world and someone comes along in your defense, especially someone strong in character and wants to make things right.    Our concierge was a beautiful young lady from Brazil and had been accustomed to seeing Eric and I in one of the lounges, enjoying drinks and chatting with fellow passengers before dinner each night.     When we conveyed our experience to her she became extremely protective of both of us, and explained that as a child she was picked on for having a weight issue and would not tolerate her passengers being harassed for any reason.   She immediately filled an entry into the ships log (yes just like Star Trek) and put us in touch with the appropriate persons.    Less than an hour later we were issued an almost $300 refund for the shore excursion and were apologized to repeatedly.    Even if we hadn’t received our money back, it felt incredible to be acknowledged as people once again, something we missed during our time in St. Kitts.   We were and still are incredibly grateful for the way Royal Caribbean and its employees stepped up to the plate.

The atmosphere on Freedom of the Seas…. fun and acceptance. 🙂

This learning experience was a valuable one.   Eric and I had become so comfortable with the acceptance of crew and passengers on-board, we also became complacent.   We forgot that there are many places in this world where people don’t enjoy the freedoms and liberties we do as Americans, even if the road getting there has been paved with much pain and strife.   Interestingly enough, while cruising only a year before, we opted not to do any excursions in Jamaica, due to its well documented issues with homophobia.   On this trip we didn’t do our research, else we would have known that gay sex is punishable by up to 10 years in prison in St. Kitts, a clear indication of their social acceptance towards homosexuals.  For some reason we just let our guard down, something that can be incredibly dangerous when you’re traveling, regardless of who and what you are.    So take some time after reading this and be thankful for the personal freedoms you enjoy, especially if you’re a member of the LGBTQ community.    It wasn’t that long ago and only a short flight away, where they cease to exist.

 

 

In The Hot Seat with Abraham Hicks

Spiritual journeys can take you more places than American Airlines, that’s probably why their called “journeys.”   They can transport you from a small church with a white steeple in the deep south, to mega-structures and re-purposed stadiums that accommodate tens of thousands of people in a single Sunday service.   The can bring you inwards, to take a deeper look into what makes you you, or they can take you outwards, quite literally, to the great outdoors where the Pagans celebrate the gifts and cycles that nature affords them.  Or they can take you to Orlando Florida to meet a lady that channels a group of ancient non-physical conscious beings that she refers to as “Abraham.”  The last reference, while sounding more science fiction than spirituality, is actually something Oprah Winfrey and I have in common… we both got to speak with Abraham Hicks and learn about the “Law Of Attraction.”  Not intended to replace your religious beliefs or spiritual practice, the concept of Law Of Attraction is a way of looking at the events in your life, how you react to them, and how you “attract” positive and negative experiences alike.

Ester Hicks channels a group of non-physical conscious beings called “Abraham.” photo credit Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations

Years ago, my good friend and fellow lightworker Willy, sent me a video about a lady named Ester Hicks.     She was your average, upper class American that enjoyed the good life with her husband Jerry,  spending their days shopping and having lunch together… according to her radio interview with Oprah.  Through a series of unique events, Ester began noticing that something interesting was happening to her.  She began to communicate with something that was not of this world.   They were not aliens, they were not human, they were essentially advanced intelligent beings made entirely of pure consciousness.  As time went by, Ester’s ability to communicate with this group of beings increased and they became known as “Abraham.”    While sounding almost biblical in nature, these beings do not represent any particular religion, rather they teach about an energy field that flows through each and every one of us.   Star Wars fans relax, it’s not called the force, it’s called Source Energy or what most humans would call God.

I never watched the video Willy sent me, perhaps I had put it aside until I was able to focus on the lengthy topic, and give it my full attention… or maybe I just deleted his email and went back to looking for free gay porn on the internet.   Whatever the reason, I didn’t think any more about it until years later while browsing through messages from an online spiritual group I belong to, The Lightworkers Lab.   Tricia Carr, a member and moderator of the lab,  had mentioned Abraham Hicks in one of her shows and I was curious to see what “he” was all about.   It didn’t take me long to realize that “he” (Abraham,)  was actually a “she” (Ester,) that was channeling the them (Abraham.)    Okay I’m lying it confused the hell out of me.

Ester Hicks has an incredibly soothing voice, like the one I wish my grandmother had, the one that could actually cook.   She’s very reassuring to listen to and I felt at ease almost instantly the first time I played one of her YouTube videos this past October.    She spoke of something called “the vortex” and “manifestation,” and how thinking positive and having a sense of “knowing” that good things will happen to you, will actually attract them, hence the term “Law Of Attraction.”   So basically a motivational speaker like any other except this speaker is channeling several beings at a time.    Here’s where things start to change…. the “beings” seem to really have their shit together and make a whole lot of sense.    While Abraham is talking through Ester, your mind starts playing all these examples in your head where you’ve actually seen this working in your everyday life.  Like for instance we all know the person we love very much, but hate to hang with them, because they’re so incredibly negative and do nothing but talk about how horrible their life is.   So if it’s working in that direction, it’s gotta work the other way right?

Apparently Oprah Winfrey thought so and so did a lot of other people that bought the book or saw the movie “The Secret.”   Turns out that a large part of the inspiration for the book was based on the teachings of Abraham Hicks, which lead Oprah Winfrey to interview Ester on her radio show, eventually also talking to Abraham herself.   A book was later published by Ester and her husband Jerry, called “Introducing Abraham, The Secret Behind The Secret.”  So in a way there are many many closeted Hicks followers and they don’t even know it.   It’s important to note here, that Abraham didn’t create the Law Of Attraction, they just teach about the concept and how you and the universe integrates with it.

Kim and I very excited to see Abraham Hicks. Great seats since we arrived at registration early.

So it’s March now and my good friend Kim and I are sitting in a hotel ballroom waiting for Ester Hicks to come out on stage.    I introduced her to Abraham recordings on YouTube shortly after I heard my first video, and she had since become an all out Hicks groupie.    She really loved this positive message about being an up-lifter and being able to change the world through your own happiness and positive thoughts.  Of course you can’t sit in a room with over 1,000 students of Abraham, and followers of Law Of Attraction, without everyone talking to each other about how it’s changed their life.  To be honest this was ringing some cult bells for me, or perhaps it reminded me of a really charismatic Baptist Church where people seem almost high on the Holy Spirit.   However after a few minutes, I realized these were just people that were really excited to be with other people that wanted to live a positive life, regardless of their spiritual beliefs or backgrounds.   They wanted to elevate their vibration and see the world through different eyes, to see the perfection in everything, even the bad things.   A lady that introduced herself in the registration queue said she loved what Abraham had to say because it was in alignment with the teachings of Jesus.   She was born and raised in the church and even went to bible college, and for her this was the missing puzzle piece that made it all work.

Suddenly the background music starts playing pretty loud and everyone starts screaming.    People start singing along and standing up, clapping their hands while a video is playing on the screen.    “It’s the joy song!” Kim says with excitement, and stands up to clap.   Now I really feel like I’m in a cult and I’m concerned about how Kim knows the lyrics to the song.  I stand up to offer my support and I reluctantly clap besides her.    I’ve never been comfortable in the these settings, the only clapping and shouting I’ve experienced in a spiritual gathering was at black church in Miami, and as far as I’m concerned, they are the only ones that make it work.

After the “joy” song succeeded in robbing me of any I had left, Ester Hicks came on the stage.    Her presence is truly magnetic and I was instantly smiling and screaming along with everyone else, my hands clapping so hard I could have got blisters.    She asked us all to sit down and Kim looked at me and said “we’re here!  we’re actually here!”   She was right, we were here and I needed to let any preconceived notions go, ignore what was happening around me, and see if real life Abraham was just as moving and powerful as YouTube Abraham was.   As Angelica Houston’s character stated in the film “The Witches,” I was in for a treat.

Ester didn’t waste much time in letting us know she was happy to see us, but she was going to let Abraham do their thing.    She’s very humble and a little quirky, a stark contrast to the confidence and presence that’s observed with Abraham.    Standing behind a podium she began to breathe deeply, nodding her head a couple of times as if being asked by Abraham if she was ready, or maybe even for permission…. she began to speak slowly, saying “good morning” and then stating the words that start almost every Abraham Hicks session… “It’s good to come together for the purposes of co-creation.”  Goose bumps time!

One of the best parts of going to see Abraham Hicks speak is that every session is completely different because the audience is asked to participate.    During the four hour long workshop, six or seven individuals are asked to come on stage, their backs to the audience, while sitting on a nice comfy chair called “the hot seat.”    People can ask any question they’d like to ask a group of ancient non-physical beings, there are no restrictions.  You get picked by Abraham as they peer out into the audience and point in your general direction.     This gets narrowed down by the instruction “stand if you think it’s you” and then more are weeded out.   What attracts Abraham to select you?   The people around me said she’s attracted to your spiritual “light” and what I didn’t tell them was that I knew I was going to get picked since a month or so before the event.  How?   I just could feel it and I was nervous about it at first, not because I was scared to speak with Abraham, but because I didn’t have anything to ask.   I finally worked on a question with Kim about a week before the event, because like I said, I knew I’d get picked.

photo credit Michelle Sampson

Ester Hicks prepares to welcome Abraham through meditation. photo credit Michelle Sampson

I didn’t raise my hand until a couple of attendees had already spoken and asked their questions.    Some literally have a full conversation with Abraham, their faces shown on large projection screens since they’re facing Abraham and not the audience, and many tell Abraham more about themselves then ask questions at all.   The first gentlemen that spoke appeared to have difficulty composing himself, he was visibly overwhelmed by Abraham’s presence and obviously the importance of the guidance he was about to receive.   He loosened up soon afterwards, and so did everyone in the audience, enjoying the conversation as it unfolded, and learning from it at the same time.    I got a little too comfortable at times and dosed off for a second or too.    I actually think this has something to do with the tone of Ester’s voice, it’s like she’s telling you a bedtime story and you’re tucked in bed feeling very safe and cozy.   Pass me the warm milk please.

“segment of refreshment” or two had passed, Abraham’s word for a break, and we were back in the ballroom eagerly waiting for more revelations.  I had already experienced a very close call with being picked, only when I stood up Abraham said “the one right behind you”  and I immediately sat back down.    I actually felt I had attracted Abraham to our location by amplifying my “light.”  The idea came to me when Abraham was talking about nature, and how it was a pure manifestation of source energy.  I remembered the time lapse video I had taken in the Everglades only a month earlier, complete with rolling clouds, shadows and sunlight mixed, and distant trees.   It was the perfect tool for getting me in the zone to speak, amping my light and vibration higher so they would see me.   I wasn’t concerned that they had already picked someone directly in back of me, even though the odds of coming to the same spot in a room of 1200 or so were pretty much against me.   As an audience member wrapped up their time with Abraham in the hot seat, I knew it was time for me to get ready. “This was it” I told myself and I powered up the HD video in my head of that beautiful day in the Everglades, the sunshine and the trees, the peace it brought me and before I knew it Ester’s finger was pointing directly at me once again.

I waited patiently.    “Stand if you think it’s you”.   I automatically jumped to my feet.    Then I noticed that Kim was standing right besides me!  Oh no!  What do I do?  I wanted Kim to have an amazing experience but at the same time I just knew I was going to get picked!  I decided I would ask Abraham and I looked at her / him / them and while pointing at myself said “me?”  Abraham nodded immediately and I walked down the row and approached the stage.    As I walked up the stairs I took a deep breath and said to myself “don’t worry, she’s just a kind lady, not a deity.”  I approached the hot seat and Abraham / Ester adjusted the microphone close to my mouth.   The actor in me actually wanted to know how I looked on those big screens and I was impressed since it appeared they got my good side.    I looked up and said “Hi.

Ester Hicks has said in interviews that nothing happens to her physically during a session with Abraham, except that her pupils dilate… and boy do they ever.   Looking into those dark eyes is interesting, because you clearly sense there’s something not human behind them, however not threatening.   And the energy is that of something old…very old… and yes, wise.    It’s a really nice energy, confortable but almost disconnected.    Almost like talking to a very nice person through a speaker phone, they are there but they’re not present physically.    Ester was clearly like a glorified iPhone of sorts, transmitting the thoughts and energy of another being.   The question I had worked on with Kim would have to wait because another question had come to mind shortly after the first break.    It was about a sensation I was experiencing, something very unexpected and something that made me realize this was the real deal.    While listening to a previous hot seat participant, I felt as though questions were being answered, only not the ones I was listening to.   Other questions.    Like you know the feeling you get when someone explains a difficult concept in math or on a new phone and it finally clicks?    That feeling.    Only it wasn’t about the current conversation, it was about other things and I don’t even know what those things were.   It was as if there was another form of communication taking place in the background, like another frequency with information in it that I was picking up on.     Yes, this is very sci-fi and it totally felt that way.    I felt it so strongly that I had mentioned it to the people sitting around me.    I got several different answers so I thought why not take my question to the source, no pun intended.

Abraham looked at me and motioned that they were ready for my question.    I began thinking how do I phrase this?   Whatever, here goes….   “So I’m sitting here and I’m listening to you speak and it feels like some other sort of processing is going on, something in the background….”   Abraham stopped me as they often do and said “If you feel this way it’s because you’re getting it.”  I decided I didn’t explain myself that well, although I really felt that was a total compliment, so I said “Well I’m wondering if you’re broadcasting on different frequencies, it’s like I hear something in the background as you’re talking and I’m processing it.   I don’t know what it says though….”  The audience laughed and Abraham, only maybe four feet away from me, looked straight into my eyes and began explaining that “there is only one frequency but many receivers.”   Still as Abraham is speaking I feel there’s something else being said, almost like a whisper over their words.   It wasn’t disturbing at all, it was rather way fucking cool to put it mildly.   I felt like my question had been answered the best way possible and perhaps that extra information would shed more light on the experience days later.    I asked my second question, one that sorta surprised the audience because they started to chuckle.   I asked Abraham Hicks for tips on what they do with Ester so that I could develop my own skills.   I have been reading Angel Cards and doing automatic writing for 20 years, so I figured this was a great opportunity for some tech talk of sorts.    Abraham was happy to assist and it felt amazing because there was truly a sense of validation from them.    Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

After I returned to my seat I was on the biggest natural high and I still haven’t come down.   In fact writing about the experience seems to have given me a spiritual “bump” and it’s pretty darn amazing.   While talking to Abraham was truly a wow moment, I wasn’t prepared for what happened afterwards… being approached by lots of people and being thanked for my questions.    It’s hard to explain the emotions that run through you when you’re already floating on cloud nine and one person after another compliments you, asks for your contact information and the best part, wants to give you a great big hug.    I’m all about hugs and so that was mind blowing… an all out hug-fest with complete strangers, love being shared across every kind of divide you can think of.    Wow.   This continued to occur while waiting for my car at the valet station,  being asked to give an impromptu card reading (using a phone app) and I nailed it.   Even after getting in the car and driving for an hour, I was approached by a wonderful lady at the turnpike service plaza that recognized me from the event, and thanked me for my question.  Turns out she was experiencing the same sensation I asked about.  And yeah, I got another great big hug.  🙂

photo credit: Michelle Sampson

Michelle Sampson, my newest friend and fellow Law Of Attraction follower, poses with me for a selfie. I was on the biggest natural high and it was great.

To say this event was life changing would be diluting the effect.  I’m still trying to process everything that happened and what it means to me personally.   It has strengthened my faith in God, in humanity, in my purpose on this planet and validated that I look amazing on the big screen.    Humor aside, this is what exploring spirituality is all about.   Finding your path, if not for just this moment in your life, and realizing you’re moving in the right direction.   The people I met at this event made a powerful impact on me, arguably just as much as Abraham Hicks did.   When an ancient collective consciousness tell’s you “you’re getting it” and your fellow humans seem to agree, it doesn’t get much better than that.    And that’s what the Law Of Attraction is all about… setting yourself up with positive emotions and love, and receiving it right back in great abundance.

My entire interaction with Abraham Hicks!  Listen on YouTube.  It’s very interesting how my memory of the conversation and the actual interaction vary slightly.   I received this audio via email after already publishing this post.  Rather than editing my original article, I thought I’d leave it be to illustrate how our reception of information can be interpreted differently depending on the situation.   

 

Changing Perspective On Loss

This article was originally a post I wrote within a spiritual based online group called “The Lightworkers Lab.”

Sometimes really bad things happen to us in life and we don’t understand why. We beat ourselves up, we’re angry at God, we ask “why?” in complete agony over what just occurred. People will say “everything happens for a reason” and we want to scream because the pain is unbearable. The answers aren’t always immediate and sometimes it takes years or even decades to see the light behind the darkest times in our lives.

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I Know Things

I was driving back from lunch this afternoon and parked the car, when I was suddenly blessed with this little poem in my head.

I know things

I know things that most let pass by.
I know the bird that soars, across the morning sky.

I know the child that’s ignored by their kin,
Laughing still, because of love within.

I know the lost dog, searching for a home.
Wanting someone to hold them and say they’re not alone.

I know the serpent, hiding in the grass.
Just wanting to live, waiting for a meal to pass.

I know the man, with bitter and anger on his face.
His life suddenly gone, not leaving but a trace.

I know the woman, weeping in her hands.
Trying so hard to keep it together, and dealing with life’s demands.

I know the world, that’s crying for change.
Wondering when the balance of power, will finally rearrange.

I know these things and I keep it to myself.
All of them inside, on a tiny little shelf.

Michael Robert

North Pole Data Breach Affects Billions

November 22nd, 2017 – 1:56 PM North Pole

Turns out no one is immune to the sting of cyber crimes according to representatives from the North Pole who reported a massive data breach on Tuesday. Hackers have reportedly stolen personal information from over 1.5 billion children around the world in what elves described as “naughty” behavior. The attack, thought to have originated in China, sought to gain marketing information obtained from millions of letters to Santa, regarding children’s preferences on a variety of toys, most of which are made there. “It’s very disturbing” said Mrs. Claus, before offering reporters hot chocolate and cookies, “children have a right to privacy also.”

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The Need To Control

I was looking for parking the other day at the local grocery store and immediately located a middle aged man, with just a few groceries, loading his vehicle.    This was probably the most simple and mundane of tasks, not requiring much effort since the amount of plastic bags he had in his cart was probably fewer than twelve.   Yet he seemed to relish in the idea that I was anxiously waiting for him to finish and leave so I could park my car.    Clearly he was in control and he milked the opportunity… so much so that another person came, loaded their vehicle and left before this guy finished.    I ended up taking that spot instead, with some level of satisfaction that the guy with control issues never got to achieve a power-play orgasm.   Clearly he would have climaxed while backing out ever so slowly, suddenly stopping for traffic that wasn’t there.  Still, I was completely pissed off at this obvious and pathetic need to control.

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Why Are Gay Men So Damn Needy?

I’m sure it’s happened to you before.   You get home after a nice date with a handsome guy, he looked just like his pics online, so that’s a plus right out of the gate.    Sex was pretty much a slam dunk so he’s definitely getting a second try and you’re actually looking forward to it.   You get the usual text message accompanied by some cute emoji…

tonight was really great, thanks for being so cool.”   

 You smile and drift off to sleep as you contemplate how dating really isn’t that bad after all.

The next morning you wake to the familiar routine of shutting off the alarm on your phone, oversleeping, and suddenly realizing you’re late for work.    As you rush to get yourself together and out the door, you notice you have a text message on your phone which must be from the office reminding you of a meeting you’re late for.  In what has become a very automatic set of movements for your fingers, you navigate immediately to your texts and retrieve the poorly timed piece of information…

“thinking of you.”

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Journeys: How Winn-Dixie Changed My Life

Life wasn’t easy when I was in my late teens.   I was 17 and completely lost.  I was sleeping all day and awake only at night, a soon to be high-school dropout fighting depression and the realization that I was gay.   Therapy was gradually helping me out, but there were many days when the thought of living life as gay man would churn my stomach.   Those days were extra dark, mostly spent staring at the ceiling, contemplating the best way to end my life.  Sometimes I’d be on the phone well into the night and early morning, talking to one of the few friends I had. Unfortunately, she was also suicidal and shared a very dark place.  Instead of lifting each other up, we’d compare notes on the best and least painful ways of making it all go away.   My mom picked up the phone once and overheard the conversation.  Unable to process what was going on in my life, she started yelling at me… screaming… words of desperation… saying I was “sick” and then she broke down crying.   Mom was fighting her own demons, trying the best to raise us without our father around, while her youngest son, her baby, was slipping through her fingers before her eyes.

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